Autism Spectrum Disorders – Causes and Symptoms

Autism is more widespread than it had been. Before 1990, about 5 out of every 10,000 children would be diagnosed with autism.  Around the globe, the cases have increased in the 90’s with about 60 children out of 10,000 diagnosed with ASD. The most recent news in the US is chilling.
In March of 2012, the US Federal Center of Disease Control reported that 1 out of 88 children in the America is diagnosed with ASD.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), is a serious developmental disorder which develops within the first three years after a child is conceived. There are various causes and symptoms for ASD. Children with ASD are not different in appearance than other children, but their behavior is very different.
There are less severe cases, such as what is commonly referred to as Asperger’s Syndrome or Pervasive Development Disorder (PDD). These children do not have speech impairments and could be gifted intellectually but  exhibit “autistic” social and behavioral problems.

Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder

There are many possible causes, some of them may include genetic problems and environmental factors. More research needs to be done in this area. There are some tips for prevention based on what research has found so far on the Autism Research Institute’s webpage. The ARI’s webpage is an excellent resource for parents who are dealing with ASD.

Symptoms and signs

They may show various symptoms and signs from birth, some of them are:

  • Trouble with language, communication and speech.
  • Repetitious behaviors
  • Lack of development of social skills

Some other symptoms of autism are listed below.

  • Hyperactivity
  • Aggression
  • Temper tantrums
  • Impulsivity (acting or responding without thinking)
  • More fear or lack of fear than expected
  • Emotional reactions or unusual mood
  • Short attention span
  • Inflicting self injury
  • Unusual reactions to the surroundings (the way the things look, feel, taste, smell, or sound)
  • Unusual sleeping and eating habits

Treatment for autism

The goodness is that it is treatable. There are various different treatments varying from behavioral therapy, academic accomadations, diet changes, and chelation therapy in some cases. If your child is diagnosed with ASD, research all of the treatments available and also check out what your school district and state provides to support a child with autism. Talk to your physician and read up on the wide spectrum of treatments for the spectrum disorder. Again a good place to start is the Autism Research Institute. Seek support. The Chilren’s Disabilities Information webpage has a list of various support groups. It is something that you don’t want to tackle alone as a parent, but with love and support wonderful things can happen and do! Don’t ever give up hope!

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